Skip to main content

Timmermans Resigns as Executive Director

February 20, 2020

In light of structural changes between Canadian and US administration and the anticipated changes to the role of executive director of CRCNA, Dr. Steven Timmermans has elected to speed up his intended retirement and to resign effective immediately. 

During its February meeting, the Council of Delegates of the CRCNA accepted this resignation with deep regret and appointed Colin P. Watson Sr. as acting executive director.

Timmermans has served as executive director of the CRCNA since 2014. At the time, this appointment was seen as a radical change for the denomination, because it had previously only been served in its highest executive offices by ordained Ministers of the Word. 

In fact, it was only one year earlier, at Synod 2013, that the denomination had decided an exception could be made to nominate a non-clergy candidate. The search committee that selected Timmermans determined that he fit within this exception category because of his extensive experience in denominational and congregational activities.

Timmermans, who has since become a Commissioned Pastor, had spent his previous career as president of Trinity Christian College, a pediatric psychologist, and a professor of education.

“Dr. Timmermans has demonstrated skill in developing a fresh vision for the denomination and has the ability to manage a complex organization using adaptive change strategies when necessary,” the search committee reported in 2014. 

“Throughout his career he has exemplified a desire to achieve identified goals and he enjoys excellent personal relationships with coworkers. He is willing to listen and is able to understand team members while maintaining a commitment to achieving the task before him.”

In the past 6 years, Timmermans has lived up to that expectation and has played a key role in helping to transition to the denomination from a Board of Trustee to a Council of Delegates model. He has also helped to foster greater collaboration between ministries and emphasized a focus on serving and supporting local congregations.

“It has been a pleasure to serve Christ and his church through the role of the CRCNA’s executive director,” said Timmermans, in his letter to the COD about his pending retirement. “You will recall that I entered into the role after a multi-year evaluation of the structure and culture in CRCNA offices, occasioned by earlier disruption in leadership. I have sought to do my best, drawing my energy and commitment from the Lord.”

Given discussions at the COD this week about structural changes between Canadian and US administration, Timmermans elected to speed up this intended retirement and resign immediately.

The Council of Delegates accepted this resignation with deep regret and thanked Timmermans for his years of service, his servant leadership, and his contributions to the Christian Reformed Church in North America. 

Colin Watson, who currently serves as director of Ministries and Administration for the CRCNA, has been appointed as acting executive director until June, when Synod will be tasked with appointing an interim executive director. 

In light of the denomination’s desire for administrative posts that are appropriately differentiated in Canada and the United States while also providing unified leadership for the Christian Reformed Church across North America and around the world, it is expected that synod will also approve a job description for the next executive director position that will be different from the role that Timmermans has filled.